Referee Hugh Evans selected for Naismith Hall of Fame

Fred Jeter | 4/7/2022, 11 p.m.
Basketball’s brightest light continues to shine on Richmond.
Hugh Evans

Basketball’s brightest light continues to shine on Richmond.

Referee Hugh Evans is the latest to be honored by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Evans, who spent much of his adult life in Richmond, has been selected as one of 13 people for induction with the Naismith Class of 2022.

He is only the sixth official to be honored by the Naismith Hall of Fame located in Springfield, Mass.

The Class of 2021 inductees included Ben Wallace from Virginia Union University and Bobby Dandridge from Maggie L. Walker High School.

Evans, 78, refereed 1,969 NBA games, 35 championship finals and four All-Star games between 1972 and 2001. He remained involved as an assistant supervisor for officials until 2003.

In 1972, the native of Bishop, W.Va., became the first NBA official from an HBCU. He starred in basketball and baseball at North Carolina A&T State University and was drafted by the NBA St. Louis Hawks.

Preferring baseball, he played several seasons in the San Francisco Giants’ chain before going to work in New York.

Evans never refereed high school or college hoops and got his start working the famed Rucker Park League in Harlem.

He became a part-time NBA official in 1972 before getting a full schedule of games in 1973.

Evans moved to Richmond in 1977 after marrying a local woman. His sons, Todd and Aaron were standout football running backs at John Marshall High School and Marshall-Walker High School, respectively, and went on to play at West Virginia.

While in the Richmond area, Evans was active as a coach in the Huguenot Little League in Chesterfield County.

Announcement of the Class of 2022 inductees was made during the NCAA Final Four activities in New Orleans last weekend.

The Class of 2022 will be inducted Sept. 10 in Springfield, Mass.

Also from the Greater Richmond area, Petersburg High School’s Moses Malone was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2001.